The UN’s Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development launched the 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, which is the substantive basis for discussion at the UN Economic and Social Council’s annual Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up.
The report contains policy recommendations to build supportive financial systems to change the current trajectory, going beyond raising additional investment.
It also includes a "data-rich monitoring of progress," and puts special emphasis on five SDGs that will be reviewed during the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
4 April 2019: The UN’s Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF) has launched the 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report. The report introduces “integrated national financing frameworks” to help countries align their financing policies with their strategies and priorities. The authors also call for “repurposing” the global institutional architecture to create a more sustainable global economy.
The IATF’s report comprises the substantive basis for discussion at the UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) annual Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum). The report assesses implementation of international agreements on FfD, such as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), and the means of implementation contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, both of which were adopted in 2015. The IATF was mandated in the AAAA, is led by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and includes 60 agencies and institutions. The 2019 edition is the fourth report on Financing for Sustainable Development.
Assessing the state of sustainble finance, the 2019 report finds that the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs cannot be achieved without revamping national and international financial systems. It notes that in some countries, investment has gained strength and interest in sustainable investing is growing – indeed, “there is progress to report,” as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says in his foreword. But in many other countries, investment is falling, and 30 developing countries are at high risk of debt distress or are already in debt distress. In addition, tax revenues are inefficient, inequality has risen in the countries where most people in the world live, wage growth is at its lowest since 2008, trust in the multilateral system is eroding, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions grew 1.3% in 2017.
These indications show that “we are not delivering inclusive and sustainable growth for all,” as the Secretary-General writes, and that the transition to a sustainable economy “is not happening at the required scale,” say the report’s authors. The report contains policy recommendations to build supportive financial systems to change the current trajectory, going beyond raising additional investment. The revamped global institutional architecture would make the global economy and finance more sustainable, the authors note.
The chapters of the report address:
- The global economic context and its implications for the SDGs;
- Integrated national financing frameworks for sustainable development;
- Progress in the seven “action areas” of the AAAA (Domestic public resources; Domestic and international private business and finance; International development cooperation; International trade as an engine for development; Debt and debt sustainability; Addressing systemic issues; and Science, technology, innovation and capacity-building) and
- Data, monitoring and follow-up.
The report puts special emphasis on five SDGs that will be reviewed during the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF): Goal 4 (quality education), Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth), Goal 10 (reduced inequalities), Goal 13 (climate action), and Goal 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).
The 2019 report also includes a “data-rich monitoring of progress,” and its underlying data and analysis are contained in an online annex. The annex also covers a set of 11 “cross-cutting initiatives that build on the synergies” of the SDGs, following a request by Member States in the outcome of the 2018 FfD Forum. These are:
- Delivering social protection and essential public services;
- Ending hunger and malnutrition;
- Closing the infrastructure gap;
- Promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization;
- Generating full and productive employment for all;
- Protecting ecosystems;
- Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies;
- Gender equality;
- Investing in children and youth;
- Addressing the diverse needs and challenges faced by countries in special situations; and
- Global partnership
This year’s FfD Forum will take place from 15-18 April 2019, in New York, US. During that time an SDG Investment Fair also will take place at UN headquarters.
In September 2019, the AAAA will have its first quadrennial review of progress, with a High-level Dialogue on FfD. These reviews are scheduled to coincide with the quadrennial meetings at the level of Heads of State and Government to review progress on the 2030 Agenda in the form of an HLPF meeting convened by the the UN General Assembly (UNGA). This summit-level HLPF will take place on 24-25 September, followed by the FfD dialogue on 26 September.
Also on financing for sustainable development, in September 2018 the Secretary-General set out a four-year Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, identifying three objectives for leadership by the Secretary-General’s office to “align global economic policies and financial systems with the 2030 Agenda and seize the potential of financial innovation, new technologies and digitalization.” [Publication: 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report]